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Countywide Focus

Day-Care Limits Expand Under Bill

September 27, 1993|JOANNA M. MILLER

Family day-care centers in Ventura County can continue to accept two more school-aged children than state regulations otherwise allow under a bill signed into law this week by Gov. Pete Wilson.

The legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman Jack O'Connell (D-Carpinteria), extends a two-year pilot program that provides incentives for day-care operators to accept children for partial days after school is out.

Without the legislation, child-care centers are more likely to fill available slots with children who need care all day because of the greater revenue, said Paul Smith, a spokesman for O'Connell.

Ventura and Placer counties began the pilot program two years ago. The counties of Fresno, San Diego and San Luis Obispo have also been added to the program under the new law.

Presently, most of the state's small day-care providers with one adult may accept up to six children, Smith said. Larger centers with two adults may accept up to 12 children.

But under O'Connell's bill, the operations in the five counties can accept up to two more children each, provided the children are over 6 years old.

The program carries no cost to the state or taxpayers.

"Like many other counties, Ventura continues to have an unmet demand for child care," O'Connell said. "Clearly, this is a win-win-win for Ventura County" because day-care operators, children and taxpayers benefit, he said.

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